By Pastor F. M. Riley
January 15, 2014
“And when He had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast [living creature] say, Come [and see]. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts [living creatures] say, A measure of wheat for a penny [denarius], and three measures of barley for a penny [denarius]; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine,” Revelation 6:5-6.
Yes, I plead guilty of trying to warn lost men and women, boys and girls, about what they are going to have to face if left behind on this earth after the resurrection and rapture of New Covenant believers has occurred. Over the past 20 years or so, a few have paid attention and sought the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. Praise the Lord! On the other hand, many have spurned the warning and invitation. I
had one young lady in particular contemptuously tell me, “So what if there is going to be a Tribulation period on the earth! I will face it and go through it just like I have faced other things. Bring it on!” My heart cried and grieved for that young lady. She had no realization of what she was saying or facing, just as many others today who treat the inspired Word with contempt.
So what is going to happen to those left behind on the earth following the resurrection and rapture of New Covenant believers? The entire Book of Revelation, chapters four through twenty-two, details what will follow the rapture. There are so many different events mentioned that it would require a book to examine them all. But in this study, only one such event will be examined; that which happens under the opening of the third “seal” on the Seven Sealed book, Revelation 5:1; 6:1-6.
The opening of the first four Seals
What is set forth under the opening of the first four seals is a prophetic picture of the coming and rise to power of the one we refer to today as “the anti-christ.” He is the rider on all four of the horses, with the color of each horse portraying one period of time in his rise to power over all the earth.
The First Seal…..On the opening of the first seal he comes riding out on the world scene as a “man of peace” and under the guise of “peace” he will deceive and slay many people, Daniel 11:21-24. But an evil man can deceive people only so long disguised as a man of “peace.” After a while the people begin to see through his disguise and recognize his true character.
The Second Seal…..So on the opening of the second seal, he rides a red horse; a symbol of “war.” After his true character has been exposed, he is forced to go to war to remain in his position of power, therefore he is given “a great sword” and the power “to take peace from the earth.” War will literally break out all over the earth as the people rise up in rebellion against their leaders and even against each other.
The Third Seal…..During a time of war, especially wide spread world war, the fields cannot be plowed and seed sown, crops cannot be gathered in, and people are forced to live off of whatever food they had in reserve when the war began. So on the opening of the third seal he [the anti-christ] is
portrayed as riding a black horse; the symbol of starvation. More about this in a minute.
The Fourth Seal…..War and famine always result in death. So on the opening of the fourth seal he is portrayed as riding a pale horse [the color of one dead or dying], and he is assigned the name of Death. Significantly, the inspired Word states that “Hell followed with him.” This is to be expected, because every soul that dies goes to either heaven or hell, depending on whether they have received God’s way of salvation [John 14:6], or whether they have rejected Him. Those who choose to believe in and follow the anti-christ are destined for hell.
These first four seals will all be opened in the first half of the Tribulation period, so all four of these predicted events will come to pass within a short time after the beginning of the Tribulation. In other words, these events are right now very near.
But now let’s turn our attention specifically to the opening of…..
The Third Seal and The Black Horse
As this seal is opened the anti-christ comes forth riding on a black horse. He is seen as having a pair of balances in his hand. These balances are obviously used in measuring or weighing out a certain amount of food. This is a clear indication that shortly into the Tribulation period there will be world wide food rationing. The anti-christ, the rider on the black horse, since he will become the ruler of the entire world system for a season, will be in charge of food rationing for the whole world. His decree is obviously that one will be able to buy a “measure” of wheat for a “denarius.” The “denarius” was a full days wages for a day laborer, Matthew 20:1-15.
A “measure” of wheat amounts to approximately one quart of wheat. This is just enough wheat when ground into flour to bake one loaf of bread. In other words, food will be so scarce shortly after the beginning of the Tribulation that a loaf of bread will be selling for a full days wages! Think about it! Yet there are other considerations…..
Right now the entire world economy is teetering on the brink of imminent collapse. World wide, there are already several million people out of work, and more factories, businesses, and places of employment are failing and closing their doors every day. During the coming Tribulation period, there will be very little work for anyone. But the rich who will have a little money left will show no mercy whatsoever on the general populace. What little food is available will still be SOLD for a profit. Those who do not have jobs and the money to BUY simply will not eat. MILLIONS of people will die of starvation, Revelation 6:8.
Some readers will simply refuse to believe that such is going to happen. I can almost hear some of them saying, “This is America. This is the land of abundance.” Hogwash! I know it will come as a great shock to many of our readers, but our American farmers no longer produce any where near the food needed to feed the American people. I challenge any reader to go to the canned good aisle in the average supermarket in America and pick up the different can goods on the shelf and look at them carefully to see where the food in the can was produced and canned. It will become glaringly apparent that almost all of the food in the supermarkets of America today is imported from other countries. Very little food is still produced here in this country. I think I would be safe in saying that at least 7 cans of food out of 10 you pick up and examine will be from China, or some other foreign country. Many of the food products sold in our supermarkets today come from South America. Now a simple question…..
What happens when these countries now supplying the major part of America’s food suddenly cut us off? Many of these nations already hate this country and would like to see it fall. So when the world economy collapses and these nations cut off the food they are presently selling to America, what happens then? What happens when word of the dire situation finally gets out, and the people in panic raid and loot the supermarkets and grocery stores of all the food they can manage to carry off?
What happens the day you go to the supermarket or grocery store and find it closed, or find the shelves empty and no food to buy?
I firmly believe this is why the inspired Word refers to the rider under this third seal as riding a black horse. Now let me tell you about this…..
The Truth about Starvation
Because America has always been a “land of abundance,” few people in America have ever seen anyone who literally starved to death. I have! What I am about to relate is absolute truth.
When I was pastoring my first church in Stillwater, Oklahoma way back in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, a Christian family moved from Arkansas to Stillwater, Oklahoma so the man in the family could finish getting his Master’s Degree from Oklahoma State University located in Stillwater. The entire family joined our church so that they could have a church home while he was going to school. That family was a real blessing to us, and I thanked and praised God for sending them to help us.
There were several boys in the family, but only one daughter. The daughter was blessed with a special talent of playing the piano. She could play beautifully, and agreed to serve as our church pianist during the time they were with us. What a blessing she was!
That family was with us nearly three years as the man in the family attended school and secured his Master’s degree at Oklahoma State University. We had a lot of sweet fellowship together. Finally, the time arrived when he had obtained what he had come for, and the family moved on. When they left us, they moved to Pampa, Texas, where he had been called to pastor a church. Through my monthly newsletter and personal letters and phone calls we kept in touch with one another.
A year or so after the family had moved to Pampa, we received a letter from them telling us that their daughter had been diagnosed with cancer, and asking us to pray for her. Things went from bad to worse, and after several months the daughter died. But she did not die of the cancer! The cancer had matastisized into some of her vital organs, preventing her from receiving any nourishment from her food, and finally preventing her from even eating. In spite of the doctors trying to feed her through a tube, over a period of months she literally starved to death.
When we were notified of her death, my wife and I made the trip of some 400 miles to be with her family and attend her funeral. When we arrived in Pampa, we went straight to the funeral home to view her body and pay our final respects. At the funeral home, the family had set a photo of her on the casket so that those who viewed her body would know what she looked like before she was stricken with cancer and finally died. When we looked into that casket what we saw was a totally BLACK carcass of a person with dark BLACK skin stretched over the skeleton. My wife literally became hysterical as she viewed the young lady’s body, crying and screaming that it just couldn’t be her. I had to physically hold up my wife and help her out of the funeral home and back to our car to keep her from collapsing after viewing that terrible sight. I have been called upon to preach many funeral services over the years, but that was literally the most gruesome corpse I have ever seen.
Folks, we learned later that when a person dies of malnutrition and starvation the hundreds of little blood veins in the body collapse releasing whatever amount of blood they normally carry into the cavity of the body. As more and more of the veins collapse the body literally turns BLACK. I don’t mean a shade of grey! I mean BLACK as in the darkness of night.
Now do our readers understand why the inspired Word refers to this third horse as a BLACK HORSE? The inspired Word explicitly states that “the fourth part of the earth” will die from the “sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth,” Revelation 6:8. Folks, millions of people will actually and literally starve to death during the first half of the Tribulation period. Their BLACK BODIES will cover the face of the earth, wherever they finally collapse and die, Jeremiah 25:33.
THIS IS THE FUTURE THAT IS AWAITING ALL PRESENT DAY CHRIST REJECTERS, AND IT IS STARING HUMANITY IN THE FACE RIGHT NOW!
Dear readers, the God of Heaven, whom I serve in truth, is not a despotic tyrant and takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, Ezekiel 18:23; 18:31-32. We can derive from the writings of the early apostles that they were expecting the Lord to return in their lifetime, but He didn’t! Rather, the
Lord God explicitly told Peter in his inspired epistle, “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation….,” 2 Peter 3:15. Every day that the Lord delays His return is to give some lost soul an opportunity to repent and believe and be saved. Read 2 Peter 3:9. But also read 3:10! The Lord is coming, and all of the indicators predicted in the inspired Word to precede His coming are present right now. How long will some reader wait until you acknowledge the truth of God’s Word and call upon the only ONE [Acts 4:12; John 14:6] who can save your soul and rescue you from entering into the terrible judgments that are just ready to be poured out upon a Christ rejecting humanity?
Yes, I do beg and plead with every reader to make their calling and election sure, 2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Peter 1:10. I KNOW I am saved, 2 Timothy 1:12, and I would like for every reader to have that same assurance, 1 John 5:13. I would like to meet every reader in Heaven when our Lord comes to receive us to Himself, John 14:1-3. Please don’t disappoint me!
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Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.
Thanks again to all those readers who have held up this preacher before God in your prayers and this ministry with your gifts. Only eternity will be able to reveal the good that you have helped to accomplish. May our gracious Lord God abundantly bless you every one is my prayer.
Please address all questions, comments, and correspondence to: Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or I can be contacted by email at:
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